FLOWER POWER: Design and use of an electrochemical flow reactor based on the COSTA™ technology

October 2020 – September 2022
The goal of the project is to develop a prototype electrochemical reactor based on the COSTA technology. Current commercially available electrochemical reactors demonstrate significant restrictions in terms of mass transfer efficiency, a critical process parameter for heterogeneous catalyzed processes (i.e. electrochemistry). Having proved advantageous for the development of photochemical reactors, the COSTA technology will enable us to overcome the limitations of the current commercial electrochemical reactors, and will permit a wide implementation of the developed reactor in the pharmaceutical and fine-chemical industry. While photo- and electrochemistry show much similarity (e.g. underlying single electron transfer mechanism, reagents must be transported towards the reactive zone, where either photons (glass window) or electrons (electrode) are supplied), they also show fundamental differences (e.g. an electrochemical reactor requires a separate anode and cathode that both have to be physically connected to a power source). Consequently, the implementation COSTA technology for an electrochemical reactor will include a substantial effort of research and development. Fundamental research will be necessary to evaluate parameters such as static mixing element design and configuration, electrode material, heat transfer module integration, reactor holding body, electrical insulation, reactor material compatibility, pulsation parameters, etc.